Guest Post – Weston Shirey on Columbia Sportswear and #OmniTen
This week has been a whirlwind of awesome. On Dec. 6 Columbia Sportswear arrived in Park City from all over the country. We are the #omniten, a group of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals. We are here in Park City to test and play in the snow. Our goal is to fine tune products to allow people play longer and harder in any outdoor environment. Our venue: Canyons Resort and Utah Olympic Park.
Canyons is the 4th largest resort in North America and has endless opportunities for fine dining, lodging, and of course adventures. Columbia Sporstwear recognized this and saw ample opportunity for fun, snow, and a little bit of work.
I arrived Thurs at the Grand Summit Hotel. I am greeted by valet asking to park my car and take my bags. That’s when I knew this was going to be an extraordinary experience and we would all be in the lap of luxury for the next 4 days. As a Canyons Guide and Ski Patroller, it is a weird and yet wonderful feeling to be the guest. I could get used to this.
The week’s activities kicked of at the crack of dawn with First Tracks. First Tracks allows you to be the first on the lifts and the first to shred the cord an hour and a half before everyone else. There is nothing like skiing in the magic hour of early morning and watching the sun come up while blasting down perfect corduroy. Truly a special experience, and it includes breakfast! We continued to ski many laps, and decided it was time to indulge in a delicious Grand Summit catered lunch. After lunch, it was off to the Utah Olympic Park. We took the Olympic museum tour, met the athletes of the aerials team, and went bobsledding. The Utah Olympic Park offers one of the fastest courses in the world, AND it is open to schmucks like me! We reached speeds of 80+ mph and up to 5 Gs. It was the fastest most exhilarating 54.2 seconds of my life. TRY IT! Not that all this wasn’t enough, we capped off the day eating at one of the finest restaurants in Utah, The Farm. The Farm serves only local fair such as wild salmon from Idaho, grass fed beef, ox tail, etc.
On Saturday, we skied powder all day at Canyons. We only took breaks for some tastey bites at the Red Pine Lodge and to get another shot of adrenaline on the Zip Tour. Canyons offers a series of 3 zips, each progressively longer with the biggest being from Lookout Ridge, a nearly 2000 ft span that reaches speeds upwards of 50 mph. This was the closest I have ever been to flying. It is incredible way to get another perspective of the beautiful snow covered mountains, and from that height you can definitely see how Canyons got its name.
Après? I can think of no better après than High West Distillery. Again, we were in for a gastronomic delight. The elk and whiskey were all-time. This was our farewell dinner so the group partook in the fine whiskey and culminated with a little Park City pub crawl. After all, we had to test our Columbia après outerwear, right?
Canyons and Columbia did not disappoint. Throughout the trip, I met many smiling faces bith on and off the hill, made lifetime friendships, pumped some adrenaline, and skied some powder. Definitely not a bad way to spend my weekend. Now get out there, try stuff, and make your own memories!
Want to keep up with all the #OmniTen action? Follow me on Twitter (@WestonShirey), Instagram (@WestonShirey) or my blog, www.westonshirey.com. Of course, make sure you follow the hashtag #OmniTen as well!
Weston is a member of the Canyons Resort Ski Patrol during the winter, and a guide for Western Spirit Cycling Adventure during the summer. With a passion for photography and living life, Weston lives full time in Park City when he is not out exploring the world.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” -Saint Augustine